This New Water Filter Kills 99% of Bacteria & Helps Millions of People

Across the world, 663 million people do not have access to clean water. 1,000 children per day die due to preventable water and sanitation related diseases. For people in developing nations, finding clean water is a life-threatening challenge they must face every day.

But now, access to clean water may be as easy as tearing out a page from a (very clever) book. Folia Water has developed a groundbreaking and cost effective solution to the water crisis called the Safe Water Book™.


Every book contains 25 pages, each acting as an effective water filter. The thick pages are embedded with nanoparticles of copper and silver that are lethal to bacterial microbes.

Not only is this drinkable book functional, but also educational. Each filter page is printed with instructional material to empower users to take control of their own water safety.

Who’s Behind it?

The mastermind behind Folia Water and the book is Dr Teri Dankovich, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Dankovich has been researching, developing, and testing the technology for the product over the last several years. Initially, she invented Folia Filters™ for her university PhD, later deciding to make her lab innovation a reality for those in need.


“Our mission is to create accessible, effective and culturally appropriate designs that fit seamlessly into the lives of people using them, so that correctly and consistently purifying their water is easy, inexpensive and intuitive.”

And after years of hard work, dedication and innovation, the filters are showing incredible results. A page of the Safe Water Book has been shown to make water previously polluted with raw sewage comparable to U.S drinking water. One page can clean up to 100 liters of water. That’s 2 weeks of clean water for a family of four. Furthermore, a whole book (costing only $25) could filter a person’s water supply for 4 years.

How Does it Work?

The Folia Water website shows a simple step-by-step process to using the Safe Water Book.

Step 1:

First, tear one Folia Filter™ out of the book. Fold the filter in half, twice, and pop out one side, making a cone.


Step 2:

Next, put the cone inside the Tasita™.


A Tasita is a filter holder developed by Folia Water in 2016. It’s designed to connect two bottles together to streamline the filtering process.

Step 3:

Attach the Tasita to a clean, empty bottle. This will be the bottom bottle.


Step 4:

Attach the Tasita and empty bottle to the second bottle filled with dirty water.


Step 5:

Finally, flip the whole system over to initiate gravity-based filtration. It will take around 10 minutes to filter 2 liters of water. When filtration is complete, remove the Tasita and drink the safe water.


What Comes Next?

After successfully testing Folia Filters in a lab environment using artificially contaminated water, Dankovich took her product to the field. Since 2014, Dr. Dankovich has field tested her filters in South Africa, Ghana, Honduras, Bangladesh, Kenya and Haiti, showing repeatedly that they can purify even the most polluted gray water.

In trials at 25 contaminated water sources across these countries, the paper successfully removed more than 99% of bacteria.


The results were presented at the 250th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston in 2015. In 2016, Folia Filters won the Water Award at the Institution of Chemical Engineers Global Awards.

While the promising results of the trials for Folia Water’s Safe Water Book are definitely a huge step forward in solving the problem of water scarcity, there are still questions to be answered and challenges to conquer. While it has been proven that the papers kill bacteria successfully, it remains unclear whether they remove other disease causing micro organisms like water born parasites and dangerous heavy metals such as lead.

Nonetheless, the Safe Water Book is definitely a promising innovation in water sanitation for developing countries. Cheap, simple to use, effective, and educational, the pages of this ingenious drinkable book are surely set to change lives for the better.

Learn more about Folia Water or sponsor a book to provide a family with clean water for one year at

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